This monumental work marks a turning point for Penny’s PhD research into open cut mine sites.
The exhibition will be opened by Associate Professor Greg Hancock from the school of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle.
A 10 metre hybrid drawing installation, PastPresent, maps pre-mining land use onto a post-mining landscape, recording the losses that occur when land is mined and extrapolating those losses into the present. The crumpled geology of rehabilitated land is overlayed with lost topography and the networks of the previous land users like wombats and wallabies, humans, cattle and dogs.
Land undergoing extreme processes of open cut mining are also the inspiration for oil paintings capturing the minescapes, where some networks are showing signs of re-establishing whilst others remain forever broken.
Penny Dunstan is an artist with a land management background in agriculture and geography. At the centre of her research lies the question of whether we choose the future laid out for our descendants by our acquiescence to current land rehabilitation paradigms.